Project H.O.O.D was created by Pastor Corey Brooks in 2011 after seeing the increase of crime of youth violence on the block of his Southside Chicago church, New Beginnings. Pastor Brooks and his congregation were able to have a motel shutdown that was directly across the street from the church. However, stopping the motel operations did not stop the criminal activity and Pastor Brooks knew that extreme measures were needed for extreme times. Pastor Brooks has vowed to sleep on the roof of the abandoned motel in an effort to raise $450,000 to convert the eyesore motel into a community center.
On January 26, 2012, Stacey Means flew to Chicago from New York City to meet with Pastor Brooks and show solidarity by joining him on the roof for an overnight vigil. She and her partner, Deborah Gray, climbed onto a small, rented construction lift for the meeting with the Pastor. Ms. Means shared with the Pastor the struggles that New York youths face as well and offered the support of HITH/H.O.O.D. Now. Pastor Brooks invited Ms. Means to speak with his congregation and to work on future projects together that would benefit both cities and their fight to save our youth.
After renting a tent and supplies and preparing for the big event, Ms. Means was unable to pitch her tent on the roof with Pastor Brooks, due to city of Chicago injunctions. However, she was able to continue her quest and experienced a chilly Chicago night on another rooftop in the city. “There is nothing like a Chicago winter!” Ms. Means exclaimed as she struggled to secure her tent in the windy city. “If more people would take a stand and show that they care, the politicians may take notice and help”, added Deborah Gray.
HITH/H.O.O.D Now is planning numerous fund raising events in both cities and expects to help thousands of inner city youths in the new year. If you would like to volunteer or participate please contact www.healthyinthehood.com. Project Hood donations can be accepted at www.projecthood.org.